Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bob asked me, "Is it easier to write sparse and then fill in later, or easier to put a bunch of stuff down, and then take parts of it away?" This was in response to something I had just said. I am pleased that he asked me such (any sort of) a writing question.

My answer was, "It depends. Sometimes I don't get much, I don't see much, so what I write down seems more like stage direction. 'He picks up the letter and walks out of the room'. Other times, I see a lot, and feel a lot, but am uncertain how to capture it, convey what I see and feel, so I over-write the scene, putting it a bunch of different ways, thinking later-on I will pick one."
There are problems with both, but I just put down whatever comes, and can't put down what doesn't. Sometimes it comes and seems just right, not too hot, not too cold, just right (write). (but um that doesn't happen very often)

I am wondering about others, how you write, and how you feel it is best?

by the bye,
I am reading over Echo, and it is full of too sparse sections, and sections of clunky, heavy, wordy attempts, like I've crazy glued a thousand leaden legs to a butterfly. But while I am very aware of the difficulties I am having in telling/sharing the story, I find, I do like the story itself, which is encouraging, and will hopefully propel me forward through all the work needed to create an aerodynamic butterfly.
The thing I find interesting of late, is that I have realized that it is a lot of work, will be a lot of work, hard and challenging, and that IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE. For some odd reason, I used to think that if I was frustrated and uncertain, and reaching beyond, that meant I was doing it wrong, or not supposed to be doing it at all (just not up to it, not for me), but now I see that is how it is done. Of course, it is WORK. And rather than making me feel worse, or overwhelmed, seeing it this way now, is something I have to hang onto, it makes me feel calmer, and more reassured.

Hard as hell, don't know what the heck I am doing, struggling= is all just fine, sunshine.


Akasha Savage said...

Hi Taffiny...I usually manage to convey what I want to say the first time I write it, I find that if I play about with it too much afterwards it comes across as false and pretentious. When I edit my work I tend to add more words to it instead of taking them away...which is not always a good thing!

Taffiny said...


Really the first time, you write it?
That is great.

I do think part of the problem I am having is, I have worked on this story off and on for years, so I have scenes written over several times (from different years) and I am not sure which is best, so as of now, many are just sort of clumped wordily together, first this way, then that.

I know what you mean about false, and I hope I am avoiding that. My struggling isn't to sound "better" in a pretentious sense, but my trying to hit the note right and clear.

Thanks for sharing your insights. :)

Mediterranean Views said...

Taffiny, I find it easier to take out rather than add, and I SELDOM get it 'just right' on the first try.I actaully like that process, and am having a hard time currently getting anything out to take away from. Of course I've put priorities on other activities at the moment, and sitting down to write is not calling me right now.

witnessing am i said...

How wonderful for Bob to ask such a question and then listen to your response. How often do we not take our beloved's passion seriously within us -- to find out how they do it, what they think, how they feel. Good for Bob. Good for you.